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October Gardening Calendar: Prepare your yard, garden for winter

All lawn fertilization should be completed by now. This is the new recommendation that resulted from recent research by UW-Extension specialists. September 1st or Labor Day weekend should be the last fertilizer application of the year. Research shows that after that, the percentage of nitrogen taken up by the grass decreases dramatically and is, therefore, a waste.

Journal Sentinel

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A Closer Look Replay: 4-H in Sheboygan County

This week’s episode is a focus on the 4-H program in Sheboygan County, in honor of National 4-H Week.  Linda Lueder and Sarah Tarjeson from the UW-Extension office in Sheboygan County describe what opportunities are available for members, how adults help educate members, and if the program will see any changes due to state funding cuts for the UW-Extension



Some towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota worry as frac sand industry pauses

Walls doesn’t track how many of the facilities have been idled or cut back on employment though.

“They’re all kind of waiting, anticipating a market turnaround,” she said.

The drop in business hasn’t led to a significant loss in town revenue in most places yet, said University of Wisconsin extension economist Patricia Malone. That’s because most plants didn’t have a significant footprint in the local economy to begin with.

Star Tribune


Field day showcased benefits of organic practices

After more than 25 years of management ranging from conventional corn and soybean systems to organic grain and forage systems to rotationally grazed pasture, several trends have remained consistent, including the continued increase in productivity and the continued high profitability of organic systems.

“After 25 years of producing organic corn, soybeans and wheat, organic yields continue to increase in the plots,” said Dr. Erin Silva, assistant professor in the UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology and Extension specialist in organic agriculture. “This demonstrates that with the right tools – including equipment, cover crops and crop variety – organic agriculture can be a viable, sustainable option for farmers in the upper Midwest. With the higher prices associated with organic products, this pencils out to be more money in the bank for the farmer at the end of the season.”



Trail group seeks grant for ownership research

As the committee remains a loose coalition of citizens, Iron County will serve as the entity actually applying for the grant.

The grant money would be used to research ownership of the Soo Rail Line railroad grade as well as further develop plans for the Hurley trailhead where the trail crosses the Montreal River from Ironwood.

Determining ownership of the rail grade running through the county to Ashland County is the first step in acquiring the land for trail use, said Will Andresen, with the University of Wisconsin Iron County Extension Office, who has been one of the leaders of the effort to develop the regional trail.

Your Daily Globe

UW-Dairy Science

Decision tree analysis of treatment strategies for mild & moderate clinical mastitis cases

Wondering about the economics of five days of intramammary treatment for all non-severe cases of clinical mastitis? UW-Extension Milk Quality Veterinarian Pam Ruegg and Extension Dairy Management Specialist Victor Cabrera conducted a study to develop a decision tree to evaluate the economic impact of different durations of intramammary treatment for the first case of milk or moderate clinical mastitis occurring in early lactation. To learn more about their study please visit their Journal of Dairy Science article Decision Tree Analysis of Treatment Strategies For Mild & Moderate Cases of Clinical Mastitis Occurring in Early Lactation.

Bovine and Veterinarian


Autumn tips for pruning trees, lawn care

Is it a good practice to prune trees and shrubs in the fall? 

No, in most cases, pruning overgrown trees and shrubs in the fall should be avoided. Tree wound closure at this time of the year is slow, and it can split the wood and desiccate the cut ends. The best time to prune most trees is in late winter (March) to early spring (April). For shrubs, early spring is the best time for summer blooming plants, and for spring flowering shrubs, prune them after they are finished blooming. Do not shear evergreens in fall, as it can cause the needles to desiccate and turn brown. Heavy shearing in fall can also cause twig dieback because of winter injury.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Our Views: City of Janesville officials must stay on top of offensive odors

If indeed Seneca and the digester are contributing to the problem, as seems probable, Botts and other city officials must stay on top of it and circle back as often as need be. After all, a city ordinance prohibits “offensive odors” from business activities and calls for fines. Foul smells shouldn’t make life here miserable. Besides, the putrid stench does nothing to attract new residents and businesses.

As for farmers, UW Extension Agent Nick Baker told Schultz that they try not to spread manure when winds are blowing toward the city. Residents here appreciate that.

Gazette Xtra


Climate Change Education Gathers Steam in Northern Wisconsin

Some educators in northern Wisconsin aren’t letting the fact that climate change is a politically charged issue sway them from teaching about the subject.

Cathy Techtmann is among them. The UW-Extension environmental outreach specialist decided it was time to rethink climate change education.

UW-Extension partnered with those groups, along with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, US Forest Service and National Park Service to create the G-WOW program. G-WOW is short for Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban, the Ojibwe word meaning “guiding for tomorrow.”

WUWM Milwuakee


Leigh Presley: Farmers, ranchers are key to soil conservation


Production is a top priority for most farmers and ranchers, but as the stewards of 363 million acres of cropland and 406 million acres of rangeland in the United States, they also play an important role in the conservation of our soil and natural resources.

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s illustrates just how important their role is.

When early American settlers moved west, they plowed up the grasslands of the Great Plains and planted cash crops like wheat. For a while there was adequate rainfall and the land was quite productive.

Kenosha News


Winnequah fifth graders explore nature

Winnequah School fifth grade-students had the chance to explore the outdoors Sept. 16, as they traveled to Upham Woods to learn about nature and teamwork. Winnequah fifth-grade teacher Kym Davick said Winnequah School students have been attending programs at Upham Woods for more than 10 years.

According to its website, Upham Woods, which has been operating since 1941, is an outdoor learning center, managed by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The center, which is located on the Wisconsin River near the Wisconsin Dells, “offer(s) an excellent ‘river classroom’ to study both the natural and cultural history of Wisconsin.”

The Herald-Independent


Patti Nagai

The Root of it All: Black spots on maples

My maple trees are very ugly this year. The leaves are covered in large, shiny, black spots. Since they had this last year, too, can I assume they will be this way next year? Is there anything to prevent this from happening again, and is it going to kill my trees? Would it be best to take the trees down and replace them with a different tree that will not get this disease? — Ron, Racine.

It sounds like your trees have a case of “tar spot.” This disease name for a group of fungal pathogens is very descriptive, because that is really what it looks like — shiny black spots of tar all over the leaf surface.

Journal Times


Assess crop diseases prior to harvest

As farmers make their harvest plans, it is important to continue to assess disease issues in corn and soybeans, said Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension field-crops pathologist. These assessments can help improve the quality of grain harvested and improve decision-making for 2016.



Understanding The 2015 Wisconsin Avian Flu Epidemic: The State’s Response

As UW-Extension poultry specialist Ron Kean explained on Wisconsin Public Television’s “Here And Now” during the outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays to have infected flocks killed, both because it helps to contain the disease, and because it is considered more humane than letting the birds die from the virus. Producers then work with state regulators to determine the best way to dispose of the dead birds. The standard method during this epidemic was to compost them: The virus cannot survive at temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and when done properly, composting raises the bird carcasses to this temperature or higher.

Wisconsin Public Radio